Things that the Internet is killing

Many people think of the Internet as a part of nearly everything. You can’t turn on the radio without hearing a commercial that ends with “please visit WWW (anything) dot com”. It looks like the Internet has added an extra layer to our lifes.

Or, has it? Matthew More from The Telegraph wrote a fun article on 50 things that are killed by the Internet. Here are my 5 favorites:

  • Letter writing/pen pals: Email is quicker, cheaper and more convenient; receiving a handwritten letter from a friend has become a rare, even nostalgic, pleasure. As a result, formal valedictions like “Yours faithfully” are being replaced by “Best” and “Thanks”.
  • Memory: When almost any fact, no matter how obscure, can be dug up within seconds through Google and Wikipedia, there is less value attached to the “mere” storage and retrieval of knowledge. What becomes important is how you use it – the internet age rewards creativity.

  • Dead time: When was the last time you spent an hour mulling the world out a window, or rereading a favourite book? The internet’s draw on our attention is relentless and increasingly difficult to resist.
  • Delayed knowledge of sporting results: When was the last time you bought a newspaper to find out who won the match, rather than for comment and analysis? There’s no need to fall silent for James Alexander Gordon on the way home from the game when everyone in the car has an iPhone.
  • The mystery of foreign languages: Sites like Babelfish offer instant, good-enough translations of dozens of languages – but kill their beauty and rhythm.
  • Concentration: What with tabbing between Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and Google News, it’s a wonder anyone gets their work done. A disturbing trend captured by the wonderful XKCD webcomic.
  • The usefulness of reference pages at the front of diaries: If anyone still digs out their diaries to check what time zone Lisbon is in, or how many litres there are to a gallon, we don’t know them.
  • The nervous thrill of the reunion: You’ve spent the past five years tracking their weight-gain on Facebook, so meeting up with your first love doesn’t pack the emotional punch it once did.